For Such A Time As This

Today is Saturday, March 4, 2017. Six days until our Glen Rose weekend!!

Quotes of the Day

“The direct use of force is such a poor solution to any problem, it is generally employed only by small children and large nations.” ~ David Friedman

“Immorality: the morality of those who are having a better time.” ~ H. L. Mencken

“A true lover always feels in debt to the one he loves.” ~ Ralph W. Sockman

“The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.” ~ Gilbert K. Chesterton

Word of the Day

Lotus-eater ~ a person who leads a life of dreamy, indolent ease, indifferent to the busy world; daydreamer.

Alternate Word of the Day

Nugatory ~ of little or no consequence : trifling, inconsequential

Today is Marching Band Day. As I shared on Facebook, my memories of Mineral Wells High School and ETSU marching bands are some of the happiest, most hard-working days of my youth. I wouldn’t trade those experiences for anything. I look back with pride on the accomplishments of those bands. I was part of the first band to ever win the Sweepstakes award at MWHS. And with the ETSU band, we (thanks to our director, James Keene) helped usher in an era of corp-style marching bands in colleges, which influenced high schools all over Texas.

We made it to Saturday! Yesterday was a pretty good day at work, with no major crises for me. C seems to be feeling better, after a checkup with her doctor on Thursday. He made some initial diagnoses and prescribed medication. Her bloodwork also showed a Vitamin D deficiency, so he has told her to start taking some of that. It makes sense. Vitamin D is, apparently, the one we get from exposure to sunlight. Since we hardly ever go outside except to walk from the car to a building or vice versa, that makes sense.

As previously mentioned, tonight is our monthly Night of Worship. C and I will be going to the host’s home at around 3:00 PM today, to set up and rehearse. She will be running the lyric slides on the Mac while we play and sing. I still have to print my music and go over a few songs, so I should probably get moving with this blog thing.

30 days until Opening Day!


Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner.

I will call upon God, and the LORD will deliver me. In the evening, in the morning, and at the noonday, he will hear my voice. He will bring me safely back . . . God who is enthroned of old, will hear me.

Show us your steadfast love, O LORD, and grant us your salvation.
Psalm 85:7
Blessed is the one you choose and bring near, to dwell in your courts! We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house, the holiness of your temple!
Psalm 65:4
Blessed are those who dwell in your house, ever singing your praise! Selah. 
Blessed are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion.

Psalm 84:4-5
But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress. 
O my Strength, I will sing praises to you, for you, O God, are my fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love.

Psalm 59:16-17
My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God.
Psalm 84:2

(From The President’s Devotional)

For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?
Esther 4:14

These words were spoken to Esther by her cousin Mordecai. On a side note, I just figured out that Mordecai was not, in fact, Esther’s uncle, but was her cousin. She was his uncle’s daughter, which makes them cousins. Anyway. Mordecai, along with the rest of the Jews were about to be eradicated from the land where they were living, by King Ahasuerus. It wasn’t really the king’s idea, but that of a wicked servant named Haman, who hated Mordecai.

Esther had an opportunity to approach the king and save her people, but was afraid. Mordecai challenged her with the words from the above verse.

Who knows?

“Perhaps we are right here, right now, for a very particular reason. To declare a bold word. To write a brave phrase. To take a new step. To tell a hard truth.”

Either way, God’s will will be done. His purpose will be achieved. “But maybe, just maybe, this is our time. Such a time as this.”

“Lord, if this is my time, my time to do a new thing, give me the courage to act boldly, unafraid. Amen.” (Joshua DuBois)

Father, I have felt your words in my heart, recently. I have felt the nudge of your Spirit, directing me in a certain direction. I pray for wisdom. I pray for you words to continue to speak to me, and that you would enable me to do that which you have chosen me to do. I am experiencing both anticipation and apprehension at the future, for I know not exactly where you are leading me. But that is what faith is all about, isn’t it? Do in me and with me what you will, my God.

I pray especially for tonight’s Night of Worship. I pray for your anointing on Brandon, Terry, Jared, Alex, Christi, Kristin, and myself. I pray for your Spirit to be active all through the afternoon’s rehearsals and the night’s worship. Make your presence known to us in a powerful way. If you choose to fill the place so strongly that we can’t even sing or talk, that would be awesome. I pray for restoration, filling, healing, salvation, and anything else that you want to do tonight. This night is all about you!

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

This reading made me think of this song by Rich Mullins, and while looking for a video, I ran across him saying this (remember that an “ass” is a donkey): “God spoke to Balaam through his ass, and he has been speaking through asses ever since. So if God should choose to speak through you, you need not think too highly of yourself.” So there you go.

Grace and peace, friends.

Ways to Pray the Psalms

“A true lover always feels in debt to the one he loves.”~~Ralph W. Sockman
Read more at BrainyQuote

Today’s word of the day, from the Oxford English Dictionary, is pester power, “The ability or power of children to pressurize parents into buying them things, esp. items advertised on television.”

Today is Short Story Day. I love to read short stories, especially those from the haunted house/horror and science fiction genres. While I certainly appreciate the work and talent that goes into a good novel, I have a deeper appreciation for those who can tell a great story in just a few pages.

We had a good morning at church, yesterday. Wonder of wonders, Christi stopped by and picked up her mother and brought her to church! And she seemed to really enjoy it, expressing a desire to go back. Carol has seemed more coherent, these days, and it seems that she has somehow been weened off of the hydrocodone pills. If only it could stay that way . . .

We got our grocery shopping for the week done, as well as picking up everything (I think) we need for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We called my mother and worked out details on what we will bring and what she plans to cook for Christmas Day, so I think we’re all set. We’re trying something new this year. We’re going to try and make some peppermint bark. Seems to me, all we have to do is give Tessie and peppermint and ring the doorbell.

Get it?

I know . . . it was bad.

It’s Monday morning, and we only have to work three days this week! Then we are off until New Year’s Eve! Huzzah!!


(From Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God)

After a short interruption about Psalm 139, I’m getting back to Tim Keller’s book on prayer, which is almost completed. The last time, I read a portion about praying the Psalms. Today, we look at some ways in which this might be done.

The first is called “verbatim prayer.” This is simply taking a passage from the Psalms and praying it just as it is written. Keller cites Psalm 90 as a good example of one that could be used for verbatim prayer. Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. (Vv 1-2) Of course there are many others that would work for this, one of my favorites being the one I just finished examining in the past three blog entries, Psalm 139.

A second way to pray the Psalms is to paraphrase and personalize them. If you recall, we talked about Martin Luther’s way of personalizing the Lord’s Prayer. That same method would work in praying a Psalm. For this one, we consider Psalm 59, which begins, Deliver me from my enemies, O my God; protect me from those who rise up against me. Most of us don’t truly have people who are rising up to try to kill us. At least I don’t. Not that I know about, anyway. However, we have spiritual “enemies” that afflict us, so we might paraphrase this Psalm to speak of temptations we are facing or “other spiritual traps that it would be easy to fall into.”

A third way to pray the Psalms is referred to as “responsive praying.” In this case we might read a Psalm and be inspired to engage in adoration, confession, or supplication. This is similar to Luther’s method of meditation on Scripture.

Of course, we can’t afford to be rigid about any of these. “Many Psalms lend themselves more to one or the other, but as time goes on, the person praying them does not even think about what method he or she is using.” We can easily move back and forth between styles, or even sort of build our own “hybrids” between them.

Of course, “much of the sweetness and beauty of the Psalms lies in how they point us to the Messiah.” If we can learn to pray the Psalms with Jesus in mind, great power can be unlocked. One way to do this is to remember that, as a youth, Jesus would have sung and prayed the Psalms, himself. We might even consider how he thought about them as he sang them or prayed them. We might consider what Jesus suffered when we come to a Psalm of lament. Or we might consider that we, ourselves, hide in Christ, when we come to a Psalm of refuge. There are also a number of “Messianic Psalms,” which help us to “simply consider the greatness and beauty of Jesus, to adore and rest in him.”

Father, as I pray through the Psalms in this coming year, I pray that you will allow them to continuously point me to the “greatness and beauty of Jesus,” in my life.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.